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Hopeman School Project with Professor Buxton – Exercise Science

Professor Jeffrey Buxton, Exercise Science

Professor Jeff Buxton, a professor of exercise science at Grove City College, is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Exercise Science from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. He currently holds an M.S. in Exercise Science from California University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Kinesiology from Penn State University.

Professor Buxton has a wife, Mandie, and three children, Cayden (8), Elliya (6), and Amya (2). On campus, professor Buxton is a faculty advisor for Exercise Science Club, a faculty advisor for IRON, a member of the Wellness Committee, and he teaches multiple classes on campus, including: Introduction to Exercise Program Design, Personal Training, Exercise Prescription, Research Methods, Biomechanics, Research Practicum, Certified Exercise Physiologist. He has been a professor at Grove City College for six years.

Currently, Professor Buxton is completing his dissertation with the project: “The Effects of a Novel Ground-based Movement Training Program on Functional Movement, Range of Motion, and Muscular Strength and Endurance.” A dissertation is the primary project that is completed as part of a doctoral degree. In general, it is a research project of some kind that is carried out by the doctoral student under the guidance of their faculty and a dissertation committee, which is chosen by the student. This project is a necessary requirement to complete for the doctoral degree Buxton is pursuing.

When asked to “define” the project that he is working on, professor Buxton said, “My project will be looking at the effects of ground-based movement training on select fitness characteristics, including functional movement abilities, dynamic motor control, joint range of motion and muscular strength and endurance. Ground-based movement training (GBMT) is a style of training that explores and utilizes dynamic human movements. The quadrupedal position (all fours) is the base for most GB movements and often these movements mimic those of the animal kingdom! GBMT generally involves crawling patterns, rolling, specific poses or postures and transitions between these poses.”

The project will be a simple pre-test/post-test design. After pre-testing subjects will be randomly assigned to either eight weeks of GBMT (60min sessions 2x/week) or a control group (simply maintain current physical activity). After the eight-week intervention professor Buxton and his research group will perform a post-test and analyze the results.

When asked what data collection is involved with this dissertation, Buxton said,  “We plan to collect body composition changes (fat mass, fat free mass, etc.), joint range of motion scores for the shoulders, hips and ankles, Functional Movement Screen scores (functional movement quality), Y-Balance test scores (dynamic motor control for upper and lower extremities), hand grip strength and pushup test scores (upper body muscular endurance).”

As far as procedure goes when completing this dissertation, there were many different components.  First, his project had to meet the approval of his doctoral degree concentration track director. It then had to be approved by the universities head of research. From there the project proposal had to be approved by his dissertation committee members. He said, “At this point I am now awaiting approval from both Grove City College and Rocky Mountain University’s IRBs (Institutional Review Board). Once I have both IRB approvals, I can begin recruiting subjects and eventually collecting data.”

While waiting, he is pilot testing his methods with the help of student research assistants. According to Buxton, there is no concrete completion date for the dissertation, other than the seven years provided for most doctoral students. He said, “My hope is to begin and finish data collection this upcoming spring and then to defend my project at the end of the summer.”

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